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    Israel-Palestine: The Father of All Terror: Occupation
    Posted on Tuesday, September 24 @ 17:10:03 UTC
    Topic: Victim
    Victimby Saifedean Ammous, Wednesday September 11, 2002

    A closer look at the horribleness of life under occupation and curfews

    While the world is turning all its attention towards the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, all of humanity seems to be so determined and adamant to fight terrorism and eradicate it from this world. People are even following the traces of terrorism to the highest mountains of Afghanistan and the tightest straits of Tora Bora. All this is well; however, before going through all this trouble to fight terrorism, people should turn their attentions into other forms of terrorism, more evident, public, and insulting to humanity, namely, occupation.

    No one could testify more to the atrocious terror of occupation more than the people of the Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus. In the last 5 months, they have been under curfew for no less than 112 days. In fact, in the last 81 days, curfew has been lifted for a total of ONLY 50 hours, and until the end of this week, the number of those hours will not increase, as the continuous stretch of 11 days under strict curfew is set to continue to reach unprecedented heights of disregard of human rights and dignity. It seems Ariel Sharon is more of a fan of stretching records than the Chicago Bulls of the 90s.

    But what do all those amazing numbers mean, for anyone who's lucky enough not to live under Israeli occupation, their true worth is surely elusive. Curfew means not being able to leave your house. No matter what happens, you simply can not open your door to the world. You need to buy food, your kids need to go to school, your wife needs to give birth, you need to go to work, but still you are all barred from leaving your home. No matter what reason you have for getting out, there is no way you can, unless off course you are willing to be shattered to pieces by the huge Mirkava tank just around the corner. Your life has to be put on hold until the Government of Israel decides to let u get on with it. 180,000 people's lives are suspended indefinitely, they can not see each other, get married, buy bread, or have fights. In situations like this you start even missing the bad stuff you go through in your daily life. You yearn to make stupid mistakes and be punished for them; you yearn to be sad and upset like normal people.

    But the awfulness of curfews does not end here, especially when coupled with the last remaining illegal occupation in the world, and the most terrible one. The unleashing of huge armored tanks on civilian areas has meant destruction of several essentials of civil infrastructure. Water and Sewage pipes are damaged and sometimes the water mixes with the sewage, causing diseases and many health problems. While electricity poles have been knocked down like bowling pins by the Israeli "Defense" Forces' tanks leaving many neighborhoods in darkness. Also many cars, shops, and houses have been shattered by those tanks randomly as they pass by while "preserving security."

    Municipality workers have bravely risked their lives in order to fix those pipes and poles without the Israeli occupation army knowing, and many of them have been assassinated, including a brave father of seven trying to fix the water supply to his neighborhood, who was killed in cold bold under the watching eyes of his neighbors.

    In the West Bank and Gaza around 78% of the population is jobless, universities and schools are in a huge uncertainty over the coming academic year. The newly born can not be taken care of; as there are no vaccines available for diseases. Farmers can not sow their harvest, and the fast approaching vital Olive picking season looks to go to waste this year, as farmers are under curfew, so they can not reach their olives, and even when curfew is lifted settlers ban them from reaching their fields. Nevertheless, those farmers that can not reach their fields are still very lucky compared to those who do not have fields anymore, after Israel's environment loving government uprooted thousands of trees all across the West Bank and Gaza. Even animals and cattle haven't been saved from the evil of Israel, thousands of goats, chicken, cows, and livestock have perished, and with them the source of income for thousands of people.

    On the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks, our hearts as Palestinians go out to all victims of terror in the world, from Auschwitz to Rwanda, from Baghdad to Hiroshima, and from New York to Nablus. Hoping that when the next anniversary of this horrible crime comes along, the world will be a happier safer place. And in order to achieve that, one of the most horrifying forms of terror has to be eradicated, and that is Israeli occupation.

    Report: Palestinian casualties up 100% this year

    By Arnon Regular, Sept 26, 2002, Ha'aretz

    The number of Palestinian casualties almost doubled in the second year of the intifada, and the level of violence in the territories has risen sharply, according to a report compiled by the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group and which is due to be published in East Jerusalem Thursday.

    According to data compiled by the group and its director Bassam Eid, this was the main feature of the second year of the intifada. Since the start of the intifada 1,888 Palestinians have been killed, 685 of them in the first year ending September 2001, and 1,203 in the past year. The number of children and youngsters below the age of 18 who were killed in the second year rose to 160 from 146.

    The report says the number of IDF assassinations of armed Palestinian activists significantly increased in the second year, rising to 65 assassinations from 65. The number of Palestinians killed in various circumstances near IDF checkpoints also increased significantly in the second year, rising to 39 from 26 in the first year.

    Demolitions of the homes of suicide bombers and their families became a central feature of IDF activity in the second year of the intifada. The IDF demolished 32 houses in the territories between June 20 and August 20, in addition to dozens of houses demolished n Rafah earlier in the year.

    The report also brings data on the assassination of Palestinian collaborators in the territories. During the first year 28 were killed on suspicion of collaborating with Israel. In the second year, the number who assassinated in the street or executed by the Palestinian Authority rose to 48.


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